Sunday, March 2, 2014

Updated details: “Windows to Heaven”
Fr. Leo’s 2nd Workshop in iconography at
Bothwell Arts Center 2466 8th St. Livermore

We will be writing an icon of the Theotokos (Mother and Child). We will be in a better lighted room. This theme will require all the time we have available on Saturday and Sunday. Maximum number of students only 10. Only the first 10 to register will be able to participate. Board, brushes, and all materials are provided. $75 per student.


SATURDAY January 25th
9:00 am – 9:30 am Getting acquainted – distribution of all materials

9:30 am - 12:00 noon - Instruction in how to ‘write’ your own Icon of Theotokos (Mary with Child)

12:00 noon – 12:45 pm bag lunch (bring your own)

12:45 - 4:00 pm Continue painting session

4:00 Prayer of dismissal

SUNDAY January 26th: 
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Continued instruction and painting your icon of the Theotokos.

To preregister or for more information, call Fr. Leo Arrowsmith at (925) 456-0845 or email him at
Fr. Leo’s blogsite: DoveTaleIcons/

ABOUT FR. LEO: A lifetime spent in drawing, sculpting and painting, Fr. Leo came to iconography when appointed Rector of St. Innocent Orthodox Church in 1996. Since then he has written more than 50 icons for the parish church. Now retired, he continues to write icons and introduce the public to icons as an art and a spiritual way of life.

Writing an icon is time consuming and should not be rushed. If you are unable to finish your icon during the time of the workshop, you may either finish it at home on your own, or you may make an individual appointment with me to help you complete your icon. The cost is $75 for an hour and a half individual session. If two or more make the appointment together, the cost is $50 per student. The sessions will be at Bothwell Arts Center . 
Happy painting! 
Blessings!  Fr. Leo


Workshops Continue this Saturday... Check Schedule with Fr. Leo at

Newest Update from Fr. Leo... Please contact him at his new email address for any questions or if you would like to commission an icon.  
New Email:

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  “Windows to Heaven”

Fr. Leo’s Lecture and Workshop in iconography
Bothwell Arts Center 2466 8th St. Livermore

WHEN:  Sunday December 1st:  Lecture on iconography
Saturday December 7th:  Workshop in writing your own icon


SUNDAY December 1st, 6:30 – 8:30 pm  (freewill offerings accepted)
6:00 – 6:30 Getting acquainted
6:30 – 7:30 Fr. Leo’s lecture icon painting
  What is an “Icon”?
  Praying with Icons
  How to get started ‘writing’ your own Icon
7:30 – 8:00 Refreshments
8:00 – 8:30 pm Mini-workshop: How to line draw an icon 

SATURDAY December 7th, 10 am – 3 pm (bring your bag lunch) Cost: $30
10:00 am – 12 noon: hands on instruction as you paint your icon of the head of Christ. Board and materials provided. Maximum students only 10
12:00 – 12:45 pm: bag lunch
12:45 pm – 3:00 pm: continued instruction and painting

For more information, call Fr. Leo Arrowsmith at (925) 456-0845 or email at

Fr. Leo’s blogsite: 

This is your opportunity to learn about how icons are made (“written”); a brief overview of the origins and development of iconography and how icons relate to worship in Orthodoxy.

ABOUT FR. LEO: A lifetime spent in drawing, sculpting and painting, Fr. Leo came to iconography when appointed Rector of St. Innocent Orthodox Church in 1996. Since then he has written more than 50 icons for the parish church. Now retired, he continues to write icons and introduce the public to icons as an art and a spiritual way of life.

LOCATION: Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 8th St., Livermore (ample curb parking)

This is "Image Made Without Hands". One of the recent icons I have written.. The Transfer from Edessa to Constantinople of the Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ Not-Made-by-Hands occurred in the year 944. Eusebius, in his HISTORY OF THE CHURCH (I:13), relates that when the Savior was preaching, Abgar ruled in Edessa. He was stricken all over his body with leprosy. Reports of the great miracles worked by the Lord spread throughout Syria (Mt.4:24) and reached even Abgar. Without having seen the Savior, Abgar believed in Him as the Son of God. He wrote a letter requesting Him to come and heal him. He sent with this letter to Palestine his own portrait-painter Ananias, and commissioned him to paint a likeness of the Divine Teacher.
Ananias arrived in Jerusalem and saw the Lord surrounded by people. He was not able to get close to Him because of the large throng of people listening to the preaching of the Savior. Then he stood on a high rock and attempted to paint the portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ from afar, but this effort was not successful. The Savior saw him, called to him by name and gave him a short letter for Abgar in which He praised the faith of this ruler. He also promised to send His disciple to heal him of his leprosy and guide him to salvation.

Then the Lord asked that water and a cloth be brought to Him. He washed His Face, drying it with the cloth, and His Divine Countenance was imprinted upon it. Ananias took the cloth and the letter of the Savior to Edessa. Reverently, Abgar pressed the holy object to his face and he received partial healing. Only a small trace of the terrible affliction remained until the arrival of the disciple promised by the Lord. He was St Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy (August 21), who preached the Gospel and baptized Abgar and all the people of Edessa. Abgar put the Holy Napkin in a gold frame adorned with pearls, and placed it in a niche over the city gates. On the gateway above the icon he inscribed the words, “O Christ God, let no one who hopes on Thee be put to shame.”

For many years the inhabitants kept a pious custom to bow down before the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands, when they went forth from the gates. But one of the great-grandsons of Abgar, who later ruled Edessa, fell into idolatry. He decided to take down the icon from the city wall. In a vision the Lord ordered the Bishop of Edessa to hide His icon. The bishop, coming by night with his clergy, lit a lampada before it and walled it up with a board and with bricks.

Many years passed, and the people forgot about it. But in the year 545, when the Persian emperor Chozroes I besieged Edessa and the position of the city seemed hopeless, the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to Bishop Eulabius and ordered him to remove the icon from the sealed niche, and it would save the city from the enemy. Having opened the niche, the bishop found the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands: in front of it was burning the lampada, and upon the board closing in the niche, a copy of the icon was reproduced. After a church procession with the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands had made the circuit of the city walls, the Persian army withdrew.

In the year 630 Arabs seized Edessa, but they did not hinder the veneration of the Holy Napkin, the fame of which had spread throughout all the East. In the year 944, the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos (912-959) wanted to transfer the icon to the Constantinople, and he paid a ransom for it to the emir of the city. With great reverence the Icon of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands and the letter which He had written to Abgar, were brought to Constantinople by clergy.

On August 16, the icon of the Savior was placed in the Tharossa church of the Most Holy Theotokos. There are several traditions concerning what happened later to the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands. According to one, crusaders ran off with it duringtheir rule at Constantinople (1204-1261), but the ship on which the sacred object was taken, perished in the waters of the Sea of Marmora.

According to another tradition, the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands was transported around 1362 to Genoa, where it is preserved in a monastery in honor of the Apostle Bartholomew. It is known that the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands repeatedly gave from itself exact imprints. One of these, named “On Ceramic,” was imprinted when Ananias hid the icon in a wall on his way to Edessa; another, imprinted on a cloak, wound up in Georgia. Possibly, the variance of traditions about the original Icon Not-Made-by-Hands derives from the existence of several exact imprints.

During the time of the Iconoclast heresy, those who defended the veneration of icons, having their blood spilt for holy icons, sang the Troparion to the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands. In proof of the validity of Icon-Veneration, Pope Gregory II (715-731) sent a letter to the Byzantine emperor, in which he pointed out the healing of King Abgar and the sojourn of the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands at Edessa as a commonly known fact. The Icon Not-Made-by-Hands was put on the standards of the Russian army, defending them from the enemy. In the Russian Orthodox Church it is a pious custom for a believer, before entering the temple, to read the Troparion of the Not-Made-by-Hand icon of the Savior, together with other prayers.

According to the Prologue, there are four known Icons of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands:

at Edessa, of King Abgar (August 16)
the Kamulian, -- St Gregory of Nyssa (January 10) wrote of its discovery, while according to St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (July 14), the Kamulian icon appeared in the year 392, but it had in appearance an icon of the Mother of God (August 9)
in the time of Emperor Tiberius (578-582), St Mary Syncletike (August 11) received healing from this
on ceramic tiles (16 August)

The Feast of the Transfer of the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands, made together with the Afterfeast of the Dormition, they call the third-above Savior Icon, the “Savior on Linen Cloth.” The particular reverence of this Feast in the Russian Orthodox Church is also expressed in iconography, and the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands was one of the most widely distributed.